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MIAMI — Jacob deGrom still doesn’t have an explanation for the discomfort in his elbow that caused him to stop throwing last week, but he’s operating under the assumption his season isn’t finished.
The Mets ace, speaking to reporters Tuesday for the first time since his shutdown, indicated he’s moved his arm freely in recent days without soreness and will await an MRI exam at some point to determine if the swelling has subsided enough so he can begin throwing again.
“The frustrating thing is not knowing why it’s there,” deGrom said before the Mets faced the Marlins. “Hopefully it’s gone whenever they look at it again.”
DeGrom, who exited the All-Star break with forearm tightness, termed this latest discomfort “more the elbow.” He said he was playing catch last week without any issue, but after a mound session felt something in his elbow that went beyond the scope of normal soreness. A subsequent MRI exam and CT scan ruled out ligament damage and the possibility of a bone spur, according to deGrom.
He was asked if it’s concerning that doctors haven’t identified the problem.
“Concerning? I don’t like it,” deGrom said. “I want to be pitching, that is one of the most frustrating things. I feel like I was having the best year of my career and then these little bumps and setbacks and now this.
“It’s definitely frustrating, a little bit concerning, but how it feels this past week I think is a plus. I haven’t thrown, but moving it around feels fine, so we’ll see what it says when we look at it again.”
DeGrom, who has pitched to a 1.08 ERA and 0.554 WHIP in 15 starts this season, last pitched on July 7. In a best-case scenario, he would return to the Mets in early September, allowing him time to build up following the layoff.
A third Cy Young Award in four years likely won’t be a possibility for deGrom given the missed starts. DeGrom also battled various issues earlier in the season that caused him to miss and curtail starts.
“The goal is to win a World Series and to be a part of that — the personal stuff is secondary,” deGrom said. “But I do miss being out there helping our team and it stinks sitting on the sideline and not being able to compete.”
He said the Mets have the rotation pieces in place, with Carlos Carrasco, Marcus Stroman, Taijuan Walker and Tylor Megill at the forefront, to keep the team in a good position. It comes in a season the Mets have lost rotation pieces such as Joey Lucchesi and David Peterson, and still await Noah Syndergaard’s return from Tommy John surgery rehab. The Mets initially hoped Syndergaard would return by mid-June, but a setback pushed that timetable into September.
“I think these guys have done a great job and Tylor is stepping up and pitching well for us, and Cookie coming back and Stro’, Tai, they have all thrown the ball great all year, so they will be fine,” deGrom said. “They are professionals, they know how to take the mound and keep us in a ballgame and give us a chance to win.”
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